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Auditory Memory

Hands-on Learning Games: The Ins and Outs of Auditory Memory

 

What is Auditory Memory?

Auditory memory is simply the ability to remember what you hear. It can refer to speech, music, or any other sound that makes it’s way up to your eardrums and to the proper centers in your brain.

Auditory memory is critical to your child’s success both at home and at school. It is what allows him to remember that he has to feed the fish, take out the garbage, and wash his hands before he sits down to eat dinner.

He also exercises his auditory memory when his teacher asks the class to put away their math books, take out their science workbook, and sit with their hands folded on the desk until she calls them.

Auditory memory is made up of three parts: short-term memory, active working memory, and long-term memory. Short-term memory is, as the name implies, information that lasts for only a short period of time.

You might use it when you call information for a number, and then hanging up quickly, try to dial the number you heard before it slips out of your head.

Short-term memory can hold only a very small amount of information: 7 bits of information plus or minus 2. That means that the average person can hold anywhere from 5 to 9 bits of information in their heads at a time.

This is one reason why telephone numbers started out as 7 numbers.

If you would like to hold onto the information for longer than a few seconds, you’ll need to find some way to transfer it into your long-term memory. Long-term memory is like the hard drive on your computer. It is permanently stored in your brain, barring accident, infection, or other misfortune.

However, just as with your computer, you must be careful to file the information in a way that it can be easily retrieved. You would find it impossible to find a file if you stored all of your documents as individual folders.

Instead, you automatically file all of your vacation ideas in one folder, your plans for the upcoming Bar Mitzvah in another, and your ideas for a new project at work in another. This makes the information much easier to store and to find.

The last type of auditory memory is active-working memory. It allows you to hold a piece of information in your mind even if you are in the middle of doing something else.

Some children, for example, find it difficult to write a book report and remember how to spell properly, and remember the technicalities of grammar. If you have ever walked to a room to get something, and then forgotten what it is you wanted, then you too have experienced a blip in your active working memory.

Can I improve my child’s auditory memory?

Most people think possessing a good auditory memory is a lot like having auburn hair and green eyes; that’s just the package they were given, and other than some surface changes, there isn’t much to do about it if you’re stuck with mousy brown hair and dishwater brown eyes.

However, while someone can be born with a better auditory memory, it is really a skill that can be improved quite dramatically if you use the proper techniques.

Stay tuned for my next post on fun games you can use to help improve your child's auditory memory.

 
 

 
 

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Expressive Language

Hands-On Learning Games: Improve Your Child’s Expressive Language Skills

expressive language skills

Hands-on learning games are a great way of helping your child build his expressive language skills. Being able to express one's self is a crucial skill that affects every aspect of your child's life. Not being able to explain himself, persuade his listeners, or simply share a funny event because he has an expressive language disorder can seriously impact your child 's self-esteem.

Imagine being unable to explain why you had a bad day in class, or why you want to go to a friend's house. Or, what if you wanted to convince your sister to let you borrow her bike, but you didn't have the words you needed to persuade her?

You may find your child is easily frustrated, since he can't use language effectively. He might resort to hitting, kicking, or even biting when he doesn't get his way, because he cannot use language to help him solve conflicts with others.

The best way to help your child is to give her plenty of opportunities to play with language, in a fun, engaging activity that doesn't pressure her to produce. This hands-on learning game is perfect as it allows your child to strengthen her language in a totally naturally way, and even lets her use visuals to help get her point across.

In order to play this game, you will need to take a trip first with your child to a fun place. During the trip, make sure to take separate pictures of  everyone who goes with you on the trip. You should also take pictures of all the main events. For example, if you go to an amusement park, take a picture of each ride and game that your child plays.

You should also take pictures of your child as they leave the house to go on the trip. If you plan to travel by car, take a picture of your child sitting in the car. You will use all of these pictures to act as cues to help your child tell a story about his trip.

Materials:

Card stock (to print out the pictures on)

Regular size photo album (to store the pictures in a story format)

How to Play:

  1. You're going to make a story of your child's trip using the pictures you took. First, organize the pictures in the order in which they occurred. You can separate the pictures according to the different events that took place during the trip.
  2. Your child should sit on the floor or at a large table with plenty of space to move the pictures around. Point to a picture of your child, and ask, "Who's this?" in a playful manner.
  3. Place that picture to your child's left.
  4. Now take an event picture, and place it to the right of the first picture. You have now created a sentence, only with pictures instead of words.
  5. Say to your child, "This is - (your child should say his name, or "me ," if he is able to.) Next point to the event picture, and ask your child to name it.
  6. Lastly, your child should put the two together : "I rode on the merry-go-round."
  7. Underneath the merry-go round picture place another event picture. Point to the picture of your child, prompting him to say, "I rode in the  bumper cars."
  8. Continue with the rest of the pictures.

Tip: You can make this game harder by letting your child sequence all the pictures himself. Instead of telling you the story bit-by bit with in sentence form, he should first arrange the pictures in story form, and then tell the entire story using his own words.

Don't forget to reward your child at the end of your learning session! It need not be a large reward, but it should be something that is enticing to your child. It could be a treat, or it could be being allowed to stay up a half-hour past bedtime, or going to a park you don't usually visit.
 
 

 
 

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